ELKHART — School officials say they are “devastated” and concerned about the effect on students after residents overwhelmingly rejected a request for another $122 million in property tax funding for Elkhart Community Schools.

Superintendent Steve Thalheimer said while he does appreciate those who took the time to understand the reasoning behind the referendum, he is disappointed and most concerned about what impact the outcome will have on students.

(9) comments


after years of increased education cost while performance was dropping, the State used vouchers so parents and students had choice and would not essentially be trapped in a public school system if they wanted to change. Good for the consumer (student). The school missed the opportunity as they still do to improve performance and cut expenses. Instead they want to keep doing what they always have at a even greater cost and expect a different outcome. No learning for them. Hence the continuous referendums. Thanks for asking.

Joe King

Once again, henke fails to mention the voucher program pulling public dollars from public schools to fund private and some for profit schools that don't have to follow every regulation and educate ALL students. If the private or religous school doesn't want to educate or provide for your special needs kids, they don't. If they don't want to provide what public schools have to, they won't and don't have too. The politicians are the one to blame and instead people like henke that don't want to pay more for rental properties they own blame it on the schools and the kids take the fall. Well, when one kids is hit by a car cause they have to walk further and on busy roads, we know who to start blaming.. when sports teams are canceled...we know who to start blaming.... And if kids can't take field trips to learn, then athletes can't take buses to play games... This is what the republican politicians have designed for our school system...thanks, henke... and I am still seeing your illegally placed signs...no fines yet?


Typical response from the woke Joe King. The people have voted to not support the new tax and it is all Mr Henke’s fault, so let’s attack him personally. The people have voted no to the union led money grab and by their vote are saying we don’t like what you’re doing and what you have done during the pandemic by keeping students out os school.

School vouchers for private schools are a tool to insure your child gets the best education possible. How can you be against that?


Taxpayers did not fail the school however the school failed the students. Spending money on more buildings and trinkets while student count continues to drop is a failure. That money did not go to transportation nor teachers, a failure. Not having a plan to move forward is a failure of Thalheimer and the board. They failed the students and our education system. This vote was not against the school but FOR improved education. The school cannot continue doing the same failed practices and expecting a different outcome. If students fail to grasp and solve the issues are they given a passing grade and allowed to continue on? Not school administrators/Board either, they failed.

Revolution 1776

Not passing this was the right thing . More money in parents pockets vis less taxes to provide more opportunities


The community did not fail the teachers nor the school. The community wants the system fixed and improved. We are saying we are willing to help but stop circling your wagons and using outdated tools still that will not yield different results. We have had all the promises over sevral years and students have suffered. We want better for the students. School Board and Administration cannot seem to solve the problem but expect the students to solve theirs or not get a passing grade. The same apples for the school. The school board should resign for NOT doing their job.

Joe King

My condolences to the teachers, support staff and more importantly the kids. I’m sorry the people of Elkhart failed you. From the ones that voted no to the other ones that didn’t vote at all. I hope the community is prepared for what is coming...we eared it.


No plan B? It was more money or nothing? That seems to be the ongoing problem. No plan


Plan B will be an accelerated departure of teachers through retirement and going to other school systems or private schools. Departure of students to those same schools will increase as well. On the positive side, when the departures become a stampede, they will be able to close several school buildings and save some money on those shuttered buildings. Mr. Thalheimer learned the harsh reality he is not in Fairfield anymore.

This will not end well.

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